O’Brien is a reliable, if unspectacular, seam bowler who hails from Wellington - his state side.
He was drafted into an injury-hit New Zealand team in 2005 for two Tests against Australia, but was discarded after making little impact.
Consistent performances in the state championship - he was top wicket-taker in 2006/07 - kept him in the selectors’ minds and he earned a Test recall on the 2007 tour of South Africa, as a late replacement for the injured Kyle Mills.
His one-day debut came in the memorable 340-a-side tie at home to England in 2008, although his six overs cost almost 10 runs each. His ineffective batting, superior only to number 11 Chris Martin, was not called upon.
He had to wait until 2009 for his Twenty20 bow, against Australia in Sydney.
O’Brien, whose wife lives in Derbyshire, signed for Leicestershire as their overseas player for the 2009 season.
He enjoyed a moderately successful season before quitting the international game to sign for Middlesex in 2010.